Further delay over Scottish Rugby Union accounts amid pandemic concerns

The Scottish Rugby Union has announced a further delay in publishing its accounts.

Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson.
Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson.

The governing body held the first part of its annual general meeting via a video conference on 15 August but delayed presenting the accounts.

This was supposed to happen at part two of the agm on 26 November.

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However, this has now been pushed back further because “the current pandemic has created circumstances where additional work needs to be done before the accounts are approved”.

Mark Dodson, the SRU chief executive, has warned of the impact of the coronavirus on the sport’s finances. The absence of spectators from home international matches has created a massive black hole for the union, with no fans allowed to attend the Autumn Nations Cup matches against France and Fiji.

Speaking in May, Dodson said the prospect that Scotland playing no international matches in front of paying supporters for the rest of the year and through to next year’s Six Nations would cost the union at least £40 million in lost revenue.

In a statement released on Friday, the SRU explained the latest delay in financial information.

It read: “Following a presentation to the Scottish Rugby Council, the President and the Chairman of Scottish Rugby will be issuing documentation in the course of next week relating to Stage 2 of the 2020 AGM and the Special General Meeting, scheduled for 26 November 2020.

“The current pandemic has created circumstances where additional work needs to be done before the accounts are approved, providing an additional level of assurance for the organisation and stakeholders that the impact of the pandemic on the organisation has been fully examined and can be explained to members. That work is taking longer than anticipated.

“Ensuring that members are informed about the effect of the pandemic on the organisation and our sport more generally, and in particular, have sufficient time to consider the financial statements and ask questions about them, is a priority for the Council and Board.

“It is therefore proposed that a financial presentation will be given to members at Stage 2 of the AGM, with more detailed financial information following shortly thereafter.

“Following discussion, and with the support of the Scottish Rugby Council, Stage 2 of the resumed AGM on 26 November will therefore focus on club and domestic rugby issues, including the motions submitted by clubs, presentation of the preliminary results for the 19/20 financial year, and commentary on the organisation’s response to the pandemic and its impact on the current 20/21 year.

“The Annual General Meeting will then be adjourned, to enable the Special General Meeting to be held in respect of Biggar RFC’s motion.

“The formal laying of financial statements will take place later in December, allowing stakeholders adequate time in advance to study the accounts and submit questions ahead of that resumed meeting.

“The Council and Board are grateful for members’ continued patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.”

Biggar are appealing the decision to declare the 2019-20 senior men’s club season null and void, which deprived the Lanarkshire side promotion to the Premiership.

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